I really want to congratulate all of my friends who competed in the Pan Ams this year. Jeff B. brought home a silver medal. Jeff is someone who I genuinely admire. He’s a warrior with a formidable work ethic. He’s also a genuine advocate of the sport, working tirelessly to promote MMA, submission wrestling and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu in the Pac Northwest. Congratulation Jeff!
And then there’s Rick G. Big Rick, or Brick, had a tumor removed from his brain that was the size of a small planet just over a year ago. I’ve been at Foster BJJ for over three years now, and in that time, Rick has been a huge part of the school. He’s great with the kids, works hard, and as an older guy (older than me!) he’s proof that Jiu Jitsu is a genuine life sport, suitable for all ages, sizes, builds and you name it. It took months for Rick to sneak back in, suit up and start working some technique, and even longer before he was cleared to spar.
One of Rick’s goals coming out of surgery was to win a gold medal at the Pan Ams. This year, just over a year after his surgery, Rick ended up winning two of them.
Congratulations Rick, on winning Gold in both your own bracket and in the open weight bracket. I’d say that I’m proud of you, but that’s not quite right. That’s not even the half of it. I’m proud to know you. I’m proud to be associated with you.
If there’s any truth to the idea that you can measure a person by the company they keep, I feel pretty good because I’m truly lucky to be surrounded by such a great group of individuals.
Coach Foster awarded Rick his brown belt, as well. As an accomplishment, that’s so far away from where I’m at right now, I can only imagine how that feels. Damn.
So, I jumped over with Rick first chance I got during sparring. I did what anyone would do when a 300 lbs brown belt is caught in your guard. I got the hell out, took his back and tried not to let go! Didn’t work. I eventually got reversed and mnaged to only barely keep him in my half guard when time was called. Fun stuff.
On a personal note, time to post is becoming increasingly rare. Things have been so hectic over the last few months that balancing work and home life has been difficult. I’m working on another project just for fun that I hope to share in the coming months. More on that later.
For now, congratulations to Jeff B. and Rick for doing well in your divisions. Congratulations also to everyone else who trained hard for the tournament.